University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston

By: Don L. Allen

Type: General Entry

Updated: August 12, 2020

The University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston, located in the Texas Medical Center, has been a component of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston since October 1972. It began as Texas Dental College, which was founded on February 11, 1905, by a small group of businessmen, physicians, and dentists in Houston. It was a proprietary school until August 31, 1943, when it officially became part of the University of Texas. The name was changed to University of Texas School of Dentistry by legislative act in May 1943 and to University of Texas Dental Branch in 1958. The purpose of the school is to provide high-quality dental education, research, and service. The Dental Branch is the oldest state dental school in Texas and has provided more dentists to Texas than any other school. In addition to its doctor of dental surgery program for 356 students in 1992–93, it provides specialty training for endodontists, orthodontists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, pediatric dentists, periodontists, and prosthodontists. The curriculum includes auxiliary dental programs in dental hygiene and dental assisting. The dental assisting program was phased out in 1991. Approximately 2,100 practicing dentists took continuing-education courses at the Dental Branch in 1993. All programs are fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. In addition to the extensive dental clinic at the Texas Medical Center campus, the Dental Branch operates clinics for the indigent at Goodwill Industries in Houston and at Laredo and Brownsville. About 113,000 patients visit the clinics each year. The school is affiliated with most of the hospitals in the Texas Medical Center and provides dental services at the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville. A research arm, the Dental Science Institute, established in February 1964, concentrated on microbiology of oral diseases, calcification, aging, oral malignancies, and soft-tissue diseases. The Dental Science Institute was phased out in 1995. Most funding for the Dental Branch comes from state appropriations. Endowment funds, scholarships, and gifts, however, are provided by several organizations and individuals. The alumni association has established an endowment fund. In 1993 the Dental Branch had a faculty of 210, with a full-time equivalency of about 160.

E. W. D'Anton, Memories: A History of the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston (University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston-Dental Branch, 1991). Houston Post, February 13, 1955. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Time Periods:

  • Texas Post World War II


  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Don L. Allen, “University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 25, 2022,

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August 12, 2020

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